Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chiron’s Key Word Corner: One-of-a-Kind

© 1993-2009 by Joyce Mason

My mother, the real Mrs. Malaprop, once said to me with love and pride, “When they made your father, they threw away the mole.”

It’s irrelevant whether it was a rodent, a birthmark, or a pan for forming Jell-O that got tossed. The point is; I am a one-of-a-kind person, raised by equally original parents. What other characteristic can you inherit that’s still uniquely your own?

In mythology, Chiron had a birth defect a lot more serious than some puny mole. He was born half-horse—his lower half. Abandoned by both parents, he was left on a hillside to die. (In ancient Greece, they apparently did not think much of uniqueness.)

Chironic people and things tend to be absolute originals. They struggle with where they belong, because they really don’t fit in anywhere, at least at the beginning. Like Chiron, they are neither man nor horse, though they share characteristics with both beings they resemble. They don’t just think out of the box. They are out of the box.

Ultimately, Chironic types go from fitting in nowhere to feeling at home anywhere. In order to survive, they have to learn how to get along with people very different from themselves. Feeling like an outcast at first seems like a heavy karmic debt. Like Chiron, we might tend to “go into a cave.” This early turning inward takes us to the source of the real answers about life and the only acceptance that ultimately makes us feel whole--self-acceptance. From this inner work springs wisdom. The once-isolated individual ultimately is sought after as someone wise who understands the mysteries of life.

Chiron’s connection in a natal chart to life purpose also comes from his mythical one-of-a-kindness. Each of us has unique talents to contribute to the world. Everyone has a variety of lessons to learn from different levels on the evolutionary spiral. Chiron is connected to healing and wholeness, and the world needs a full menu of therapeutic choices. While counselors, astrologers, medical practitioners, and those with similar occupations may be especially attuned to Chiron, a good cook, accountant, or mechanic contributes immeasurably to the needs of a well-rounded human being. (We all need each other’s talents to become whole.)

Life purpose is merely living your uniqueness for fun and/or profit. It’s the ultimate fulfillment. Here’s how you know you’ve got it: The more you express your true self, the less time you’ll want to spend doing things that don’t reflect your real essence.
Chiron taught young boys in a balanced way, as he was taught himself by Apollo and Artemis, who appeared to him as the Sun and Moon, the ultimate archetypes of Inner and Outer. His all-male heroes’ school on Mt. Pelion reminds us it is our masculine or extroverted energy that takes us out into the world, thus the career and worldly implications of astrological Chiron.

But from the integrated dualities that lead to wholeness, our most rewarding careers often come from championing a cause that originates from resolving pain. This is clearly derived from the feminine, introverted energy, the figurative cave where we have gone inside ourselves to work things out.

In other words, true vocation is the reward of both inner work and life experience. While it seems paradoxical, Chiron can tell us about both the inner and outer manifestations of this process—about our learning curve and our ultimate contribution to the collective.

As they learn to love themselves, horse-half and all, “Chironics” draw plenty of other one-of-a-kind people to learn and play with. In the Baskin-Robbins of Life, who would want to be just plain vanilla, anyway?


This article first appeared in the April 1993 edition of Chironicles.

Iofoto Dreamstime.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Tribute to Michael Jackson, World’s Most Radical Virgo

© 2009 by Joyce Mason

Michael Dies Near Chiron Return
His struggle to make peace with his own inner opposites, as described in
Wholeness and the Inner Marriage, were painful to watch. A talented yet tormented soul, Michael Jackson has died at a most dramatic time, close to his Chiron Return.

As he was featured in the article
The Radical Virgo, the ultimate launching point for this blog and the concepts behind it, I feel a strong need to comment on his passing.

Holes in His Wholeness
Although I am unaware of an accurate public record of his birth time, Michael died just beyond his Chiron Return. Based on a noon chart of his August 29, 1958 birth date (Gary, Indiana) Michael’s most exact Chiron Return period spanned roughly from March 2008 through January 2009. The 50-year-mark (plus or minus a little), when Chiron returns to its natal position, is often a time of taking stock. Where do we have “holes” in our wholeness? People who are “missing something” often seek it. A confirmed bachelor may up and marry. Someone with financial struggles may seek expert advice, turn it around, and make his or her fortune later in life. A highly spiritual person like Michael Jackson (Pisces Moon) who has struggled his entire life with incarnation and being in a body may just disincarnate--cross the Rainbow Bridge to the Great Beyond.

The Chiron Return begs us to heal our deepest wounds and get on with it, whatever form that may take. Michael’s Pisces Moon cries out as someone with deep emotional needs for merger. I am still haunted his quote I cited in the original “Radical Virgo” article, “My dating and relationships with girls have not had the happy ending I’ve been looking for … They want to rescue me from loneliness, but they do it in such a way that they give me the impression they want to share my loneliness, which I wouldn’t wish on anybody, because I believe I’m one of the loneliest people in the world.” He had personal adulation and love from afar like all stars bask in, but that one-on-one intimacy remained illusive.

Did Michael’s relationship, financial, and public image
losses become too much for him to bear? Did he die not just of cardiac arrest, but also of a broken heart?

Comeback Kid or Moving On?
Michael was preparing to patch some of the holes in his wholeness. Michael’s death came on the brink of a huge UK comeback tour. My take is that he wasn’t ready to come back to the reality of the music business and all its tedious work, public exposure, or to risk another failure. I think Michael at some level decided on the ultimate comeback--to go back to the stars.

Michael’s Mercury, his Sun Ruler, was closely opposite transiting Chiron and its currently close traveling companions, Jupiter and Neptune. (See chart.) Healing, past pain, and spirituality were on his mind, perhaps both the conscious and subconscious parts of it. Jupiter is prevalent in death and divorce, expansion by “moving on.” This incarnation was tough on Michael Jackson. I suspect he wanted a do-over. He had entered a time-space continuum where it may have been easier than usual to go through the door to the other dimension.

Also causing mental unrest: Uranus inconjunct Mercury sent jolts of shockwaves demanding drastic readjustment, which going back on stage with its intense public exposure demanded. I wonder if he was really psyched up for it. With transiting Pluto in trine to natal Pluto and his nearby Sun, death could come easily to a person who never felt any demotion of Pluto’s power during his entire life.

The Photo
I pondered what photo to use to accompany this tribute. Since I’m a stickler for not pilfering photos I have no legal right to post (it’s a form of theft and bad karma), I was happy to find this image on my tried-and-true source, Dreamstime. Even the name of the site itself seems fitting now that Michael has gone into the dreamtime himself.

The photos of Michael’s disintegrating face and painful-to-watch transformation from a young, hip, and good-looking man into an androgynous bad ad for plastic surgery have always offended my very Venus-ruled sensibilities. Worse than that, his “evolution” always struck me as a man who hated himself enough to hack away at his literal interface with the world that might have loved him as-is or as-was. (Shades of Billy Joel, “
I Love You Just the Way You Are”). I felt he had disfigured himself in a very public way, cut away at the Michael I wanted to love and did in spite of it.

I felt the photo on this
NY Daily News article was a good one for latter day Michael, but I barely considered his mugshot from his child molestation arrest, where his facial deconstruction is very pronounced along with his distress. Ultimately, this is not how I want to remember Michael. I want to remember him as a musician in full, flashy stage regalia who touched me with his music and triple-jointed dancing. Most of all, he touched me by his poignant vulnerability. I see the photo I chose as a person tipping his hat at me in rainbow lights on the Rainbow Bridge in his last performance. I tip mine back.

I love you, Michael Jackson—warts and all, even the ones you had removed. May you Moonwalk for real and finally feel with great intimacy the love all around you that you sometimes could not see past the bright lights. I got that gift, once, during my own brush with the Beyond.

Meantime, peace--and please channel any newfound wisdom to those of us who resonate to the unique soul you are. You are my charter member in the Radical Virgo Hall of Fame.


Photo Credit: MJ DANCE ©
Thefinalmi... Dreamstime.com

Postscript: My deep condolences to Michael’s family, especially his children, and to all those who loved him.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Chiron? Gifts of the Wounded Healer

© 1991 - 2009 by Joyce Mason

New to Chiron or looking for something about Chiron in a nutshell? This updated, introductory article has been an enduring favorite. Because Chiron is such an amazing archetype of positive male energy, this post is for Father’s Day—dedicated to all our dad readers and to fostering the positive male energy in us all.

Don’t let its small size and unusual nature as part-comet, part-planetoid fool you. Chiron is the missing key to interpreting your astrology chart. It opens the door to personal and planetary evolution. Because mythological Chiron was a mentor of heroes and the first astrologer, the discovery of astrological Chiron in 1977 heralded a whole new way of using astrology and other lost esoteric arts—to bring out the best in each individual. By fostering their greatest talents, each person can go onto contribute them to the collective. This makes a culture hum and a society great. Chiron’s own work was turning out heroes. Nearly every era of history needed heroes, who could argue that current times call for heroism?

Bridge from Old to New
Chiron is an ambassador between Old (Saturn) and New (Uranus). As it orbits between these two planets, Chiron is connected with process and evolution. Imagine, as Barbara Hand Clow has called Chiron in her book title, a rainbow bridge. [1] Saturn is on one end, Uranus on the other. In the past, the only way hard, institutionalized ways (Saturn) were changed in our world was by revolution (Uranus). Chiron brings us an alternative—step-by-step organic change, the slow but sure type that really sticks. We need it, because human beings don’t handle change easily, much less drastic and unexpected change.

Once change is achieved—we cross the bridge from Saturn to Uranus—and we sit with it awhile, the New eventually becomes Old, and we start the process all over again. It is really an endless recycling loop, apropos because the centaur Chiron was keeper of the forest and is strongly associated with ecology. The individual with Chiron prominent [2] has a foot in both worlds—the establishment and the leading edge. S/he is able to work within the system to convey new ideas and catalyze change.

Journey to Wholeness
Chiron is complex and exciting. It is the archetype connected with your individual journey to wholeness. All key words for Chiron relate to
wholeness or achieving it. Prior to Chiron’s discovery, Dane Rudhyar predicted that there would be a planet discovered between Saturn and Uranus that would act as a “higher Moon.” Rudhyar had a glimmer of the reason why Chiron in his mythological story had an incurable wound. It is being stuck in our wounding from the past that keeps us from achieving what we crave in the present. There is no healing without healing the emotional body, and Chiron’s story emphasizes this point.

Chiron was wounded in a fracas with the wild centaurs that interrupted a wedding. The wedding is a metaphor for the inner marriage of feeling complete, where the all parts of us are wed in harmony.
Our ability to become all that we can be is interrupted constantly by our own devils, the wild centaurs within us--the one’s Chiron was not like and stood apart from. Those dark forces cause the scars of unresolved pain. Chiron was a great herbalist and surgeon, the teacher of Asclepius, Father of Medicine, yet he could not heal himself. This is what happens if we don’t confront our inner demons.

Cultural Influences

The myth, astronomy, and events surrounding its discovery contribute rich metaphors to understanding Chiron as an astrological influence. The cultural phenomena most connected with Chiron’s discovery are the “New Age” and holistic healing. I put New Age in quotes because there is nothing new about it, just a resurfacing of repressed esoteric knowledge that has been present, if underground at times, for millennia. In addition, I want to distinguish the sincere and beneficial practice of these arts from the pejorative way this term is sometimes used by those who don’t appreciate them.

Weaving Opposites
Both Chiron’s myth and astronomy tell us of the need to merge the opposites within us to achieve wholeness. Our cultural wound is the split between instincts and intellect (represented by mythical Chiron’s centaur body, half man and half horse). The astronomer who named Chiron had great intuition, whether or not he realized it at the time. Only later was it confirmed that Chiron is a composite as a planet, too. The American Astronomical Union has classified objects like Chiron “centaurs” —the thousands of others like Chiron discovered beyond Neptune. The term is in Chiron’s honor, the first centaur planet discovered.

Spiritual Elements
Chiron’s energy has been rediscovered at a time when we need it most, and his story has a number parallels to the later life of Jesus. Since one function/meaning of the “rainbow bridge” is to bring heaven to earth, we can see Chiron as a nonreligious, but spiritual archetype that gives us a prescription for wholeness and achieving it. Chiron is about healing where we feel misfit and unrelated and finding our place in the world—interconnected and in communion with each other.

Point of Chart Synthesis
In a birth chart, astrological Chiron is the point of chart synthesis, where old pain can be transmuted and the individual can become a model for mastery of a specific life lesson. By working through and finding the gift in our own suffering, everyone whose life we touch benefits by example. This is true heroism and why Chiron mentored heroes. This is why we crave “human interest” stories. Pain is our teacher, because it holds the key to our healing. Each of us has a job to heal our own wounds so that we can learn from each other. So often, where we were hurt the most contains the seed of our gift to give in terms of life’s purpose and “real work.” Examples: A kid who grew up in the ghetto, makes it rich, and becomes a philanthropist; or the domestic violence victim who runs a shelter to protect others who are still in the process of breaking free. [3] If you don't know your Chiron, you don’t know what you’re missing!


Photo: Statue of a centaur I purchased in Athens during the Chironic Convergence in 1996. The Chironic Convergence was a journey to the Pelion region of Greece--Chiron's mythical homeland-- for astrologers and astrology students to explore Chiron.

For more articles on Chiron on The Radical Virgo, enter Chiron in the Search This Blog feature near the top of the sidebar.

[1] Clow, Barbara Hand, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets (Llewellyn: 1987).

[2] Chiron is prominent when placed on one of the four angles or cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses (Ascendant, IC, Descendant, or Midheaven). It is considered especially prominent if placed in the 1st House of identity or self-expression (Barack Obama has this position) or the 10th House of career/public life (Angelina Jolie, Elton John). Numerous aspects to Chiron also contribute to prominence, most notably conjunctions, squares, and oppositions. Just one of these can make a person “Chironic” if they are to the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant.

[3] Thanks to astrologer Dale O'Brien for enhancing my awareness of the connection between the Chironic wound and career paths.

This article first appeared in
Welcome to Planet Earth.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights: Happy Rebirthday!

Dear Radical Virgo Readers,

There’s a party going on at my other blog this week, and you’re invited! Visit
Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights to hear all about its new direction. If you love astrology, you’ll find lots more at “Hot-Cool” about playing the symbols. Here’s a little preview of the rebirthday post:

Once aimed primarily at baby boomers, Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights now emphasizes practical spirituality, women’s issues, and the development of our intuitive gifts as guidance, what some people call “women’s intuition.” Not just women have or want to develop their sensitivities; men on this wavelength are welcome with enthusiasm.

Live a Spirited Life! Come to the party …

See you there,

PS – The first three Radical Virgo readers who drop by and leave a comment will receive a free Solar Return chart, a $5 value. See
Your Solar Return and Solar Return Meditation. Be sure to mention you read The Radical Virgo. For leaving a comment, you are also eligible for a drawing through the Summer Solstice (June 20) for a free copy of Capital Crimes: 15 Tales by Sacramento Area Authors. It includes Joyce’s humorous short story, “Digital.”

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer Solstice - “Let the Sunshine In”

© 2009 by Joyce Mason

For over twenty years, I’ve done rituals to celebrate the change of seasons with a spirited group of women known as the
Solsisters. We’ll celebrate the Sun’s entry into Cancer and the Summer Solstice by the river on June 19 in a diverse homemade ceremony, as usual. A close friend is my co-facilitator—the other “regular” at creating these rituals--though over time, it has become more of a shared creation of the participants. For the definition of solstice and the reasons we celebrate, read about our last Winter Solstice gathering.

Maybe it was because I was just coming off updating
Your Solar Return and Solar Return Meditation, but I got an earworm—one of those songs or jingles that won’t leave your mind till you do something with it. The song was the Siamese twin of “The Age of Aquarius” from Hair, “Let the Sunshine In.” The words struck me as being so appropriate for this time of year.

Let the Sun Shine
Summer is primarily a celebration of the signs Cancer and Leo. American schools may get out in Gemini and go back in Virgo (so appropriate as the Mercury-ruled mental signs), but most vacations and the bulk of summer occur when the Sun is in Mom and Dad.

That’s right! Mom and Dad. Cancer, ruled by the Moon, is most associated with mother, love, and nurturing—a feminine water sign. Leo is dad, creativity, birth, playfulness—a masculine fire sign. Together, the Sun and the Moon are called the Lights. Summer kicks off with light at maximum—the longest day of the year. We are drenched in light. Cancer and Leo symbolism abounds. We play by the water in the bright light of the Sun and relish our ability to have fun and nurture ourselves with more leisure than usual.

Finally, as a Chiron aficionado, I have to note the large role the Lights play in the Chiron myth. The great healer Chiron, an abandoned being, was parented and educated by Apollo and Artemis in the guise of the Sun and the Moon. The Lights were the teacher and mentor of arguably one of the greatest teachers and mentors known to humanity. Chiron’s age-old story and archetype has returned to Earth in these turning-point times as a planet discovered in 1977, named in his honor. His nurturing and educational lineage is no small cosmic hint about where to go for answers. (Look Up.)

The Sun in Astrology
What is the meaning of the Sun in astrology?

The Sun is you when you’re “on,” acting totally
from instinct combined with character and personality. It’s you on stage playing yourself to the hilt, winning a Tony Award. Some people call it being in the zone, being in the groove, or getting your mojo. The Sun is pure You—no edits, no strings, stripped of outer influences

Rarely do we act in this completely solar way. When we do, it’s magical. It’s a plain, 47-year-old Susan Boyle knocking ‘em dead with a voice like an angel on Britain’s Got Talent. We can do anything, because we are being the essence of who we were designed to be. This blog is dedicated to the evolution of this kind of solar power.

And speaking of the Radical Virgo, summer culminates in the sign of the Virgin. In the US, we tend to think of the time the Sun is in Virgo as “fall,” mostly due to advertising and back-to-school rituals that keep us a beat ahead of the planetary music. This is especially true for those of us born toward the autumn equinox end of the sign. With my Sun in the last degree of Virgo, it was an epiphany the day I realized I was actually born during the last breath of summer.

It doesn’t take more than reading your first astrology book or attending your first class to understand that the Sun is only a fraction of the unique fingerprint that is you. There’s your Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn—and so on. However, when you consider the role of the Sun in your true essence, it’s not difficult to understand why Sun sign astrology has always been—and remains—so popular. On first blush, it’s easy to believe that Solar You is “it.” All the other planetary influences are back-story. They are written in the script notes or character sketch but often are not immediately visible. You are an actor interpreting the role, doing Aries, Gemini, Leo—whatever your Sun sign. Think of all the actors who have played James Bond, yet every one played him in his own inimitable way.

While the Sun in astrology isn’t everything, it’s your vehicle of self-expression. What an energy to celebrate. Every time you do, it’s a rebirthday.

Let Your Sun Shine In
Why not learn more about your Sun at a deeper level during the season that nearly overwhelms us with sunshine? Where I live near Sacramento, CA the summer sun is relentless. Multiple days of triple-digit heat are common. What a wonderful time to make an astrology book your beach or chaise longue reading material. When it’s too hot, take it indoors in the air-conditioning and do the bits that are more conducive to inside play. Here are some ideas for becoming more deeply acquainted with your twelfth of the zodiac:

Learn Your Myth. Google “myth + name of your sign.” You’ll find a goldmine of mythical material to ponder. You’ll wonder how these metaphors fit into making you You. For example, Jason and the Argonauts as well as Robin Hood epitomize
Aries. Or you can get two lines on each of the twelve at Signs of the Zodiac: Myths and Legends. Not to leave out the namesake sign of this blog, the identity of the virgin in the constellation Virgo is uncertain; throughout history, she has been associated with nearly every prominent goddess. A mystery to solve! Or at least formulate a theory about.

Revisit Classic Sun Sign Literature. My interest in astrology started young, but I still resonate to
Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs (1984) as containing some of the best descriptions of the dazzling dozen ever put on paper. Sun Signs is also posted on englishwiz.com. Another classic is Kathleen Burt’s Archetypes of the Zodiac (1988). Bill Tierney’s All Around the Zodiac (2001) gets a big thumbs-up in reader reviews—and if you have another favorite to add to the list, please Comment and share it with us.

Do Some Personal, Experiential Astrology. If you’re an Earth sign (your Sun is in Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn) play in dirt. Garden. Tend your house plants. Work with clay. Get into your body through exercise, sensuality, or sex. How does this element figure into your make-up? Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius): Sit in front of a fan, hang out in a breeze—especially near a wind chime—blow on a pinwheel. Drop leaves from a balcony. Blow on milkweed. How does wind affect you? Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): Swim, bathe, spa. Play in water. Play in the sprinklers. Go down to the river and watch water flow. How are you the water element? Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius): Feel the sun on your face and body. Light a small fire, even in the middle of summer. Light a candle and watch it flicker. Watch summer wildfire coverage. How is your make-up on fire?

Let Your Moon Reflect on Your Growing Season
My first spiritual teacher emphasized summer as our personal growing season. On days when you simply have to retreat to the air conditioning, you can use your Moon like your “inside voice” to reflect quietly on what you’ve learned playing in the Sun—literally or figuratively. Muse on how your Moon treats this Sun knowledge, since Sun and Moon work hand in glove as your Lights that guide you to enlightenment. For example, Aries Moon might want to “get ‘er done.” She wants to get this personal growth stuff over with so she can go back out and play. Pisces Moon may want to put it to music, strum his guitar, or meditate on the rays of new Sun info gleaned. Libra Moon may want to share her insights with another.

These explorations deepen our appreciation of the twelve archetypes of the zodiac, the alphabet on which the language of astrology is built, complemented by the planets that rule each sign and their aspects to each other. To understand astrology and to make astrology work for us, we have to go back to the basic twelve and learn ever-deepening layers of meaning.

This reminds me of an experience I once had about “the basics,” only it involved tarot rather than astrology. Someone came to me for a reading at a psychic fair. We got into a conversation about the book,
Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism (translated from French, 1985 edition). He swore if he could only have one book stranded on a desert island for the rest of his life, this would be “it.” Its author is anonymous. Similar to my suggestion that we delve deeply into the basic twelve zodiac symbols, “Meditations on the Tarot” mines the depths of the 22 Major Arcana cards. My mother gave it to me for my 40th birthday. Two decades later, I’m still delving. Starting with your own Sun sign, learning the twelve signs of the zodiac is a “layers of the onion” process—well worth the occasional tears shed in self-discovery.

It won’t be long before you’ll understand why so many cultures have worshipped the Sun.

May your summer burst with light and fun.


Photo credit:
Abstact by Natou98

Summer Solstice: June 20, 10:45p PDT. Adjust for your time zone in the
US or World.

More on Sun Signs, the Moon and More: Read the monthly SkyHints Sidebar on
Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights, Joyce’s other blog for spirited living.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Your Solar Return and Solar Return Meditation

Toolbox Rituals
© 1995 - 2009 by Joyce Mason

Once a year, the transiting Sun returns to the exact same position it held in the sky at the moment of your birth. This happens at a different moment each year, within a day or two of your birthday. This fun-omenon is known as your Solar Return, and it is a powerful time to put out to the universe what you want to manifest during your birthday-to-birthday (solar) year.

Why Meditatate?
Along with many other astrologers, I highly recommend that you meditate during this powerful time. Not only is it an excellent time to send your desires to the universe for fulfillment, but it is also an outstanding time to receive information. From his studies of the Mayan culture, Jose Arguelles, Father of the Harmonic Convergence, tells us that the Sun focuses information through the cosmos to us. If this is true, the Solar Return can almost be likened to the once a year you can count on a good connection for a two-way telephone conversation with God/Goddess/All That Is.

The value of knowing your exact Solar Return time is so that you can schedule your meditation to "peak" during the Solar Return moment. Some years, you'll be lucky. Your Solar Return will happen at a convenient time of the day or one that is not too disruptive to your normal routine. Other years, you'll have to set an alarm and get up in the middle of the night--or as one of my friends had to do once, you may find yourself taking a meditation break in the stall of a restroom at work, between meetings!

However you have to do it, don't lose this once-a-year day, and this golden (sunshine!) opportunity to transmit your most heartfelt desires to the core of Collective Spirit, from which all things materialize. Just as importantly, you don't want to miss receiving valuable information from the "heart of space."

I suggest that you open your meditation with the Sun Conjunct Sun prayer from Alda Marian Jangl's, The Astrological Prayer Book. This book is an excellent way to get to know your chart and to work with it. (Some people may find the terminology too Christian, if not of that faith. Remember, you can simply substitute whatever invocations of spirit you prefer.) If you like your Sun Sign prayer, I suggest you consider purchasing The Astrological Prayer Book for continued work. It also contains prayers for the various aspects between planets in your natal chart and for aspects formed by transiting planets (where the planets are today compared to their positions when you were born). Alternatively, you might enjoy this Solar Return Prayer:

Solar Return Prayer

Sun, Source of life and

You are my vitality.
You are the spark of me.
You assisted my birth
from the Sky.

Your special spot
in the heavens
is my hint of how
to be myself.
We are called human
beings, not human doings.
I will:
It’s birthday

--Joyce Mason

You are a shining star,
No matter who you are,
Shining bright to see
What you can truly be.

Wind & Fire

How the Solar Return Meditation Works
For starters, you, an astrologer, or an astrological chart service needs to run a chart of your Solar Return. (Purchase information to the right in the sidebar.) This map is based on your date, time, and place of birth as well as the place you intend to be during those days around your birthday.

For example, if my Solar Return time were 3:23 AM on September 21st this year, I would set my alarm to be up by 2:45 and awake by 3:00, when I would begin meditating. I'd devote at least a half-hour to this special meditation time, with the exact moment of 3:23 AM landing somewhere in the middle of the meditation. (We must also account for the possibility of your birth time being slightly off. Few astrologers assist at deliveries or have coached birth attendants about the importance of accurate recording of the birth moment, during a time when a lot of other concerns have their attention.) By meditating with the "presumed time" in the middle, if your birth time is slightly off, you'll also hit the "real time" during this interval. You’ve padded your bets.

One important note. The Solar Return is so powerful, ask and you will receive. Often, in our eagerness to grow, we request things we're not quite ready for. Since we tend to be the least objective about ourselves, I suggest you use what I affectionately call "the cosmic escape clause" when asking for things from the universe or whatever you call Source: "This or something better."

By using this affirmation at the end of my wish list of things I want to happen during the upcoming year, I have always gotten everything I'm ready for during the 12 months from birthday to birthday. Whatever I didn't manifest, I still made some sort of progress toward eventually having it--preliminary steps or a change in attitude or growth that would build the foundation necessary to have those wishes fulfilled later on. Alternatively, I have sometimes been gently guided to realize that what I thought I wanted was hardly in my best interests. (Thank God for "this or something better," or I would have been stuck with it!) Pleasantly, I also discover the "something better.")

The Solar Return chart, cast for the exact moment of the transiting and natal Sun conjunction, is another way of looking at the themes and nature of your birthday year. Often, it echoes issues evident by progression and transit, giving a general preview of the nature of your learning during the next year of life.

As mentioned, Solar Returns are affected by where you are on the map at the moment of your Solar Birthday; therefore, where you are at that time can have an influence on the upcoming year. Astrologers vary in their views on this. I think the Solar Return location is the primary influence, but if your magic moment happens away from home, the place where you live will determine your “secondary chart,” where you spend most of your time. An analogy: Your birth chart is always your birth chart, but wherever you live, your secondary chart is your relocated chart, cast for the same time as your birth, but at your new locale. Yes, I consider going away for every birthday! Sometimes that has yielded spectacular Solar Returns.

One of my favorites was my 1993 birthday in Questa, New Mexico--chosen because I felt strongly drawn there and my Solar Return chart “looked good.” A friend, a professional psychic, was my hostess in the gorgeous, Sangre de Christo Mountains, in an adobe house by a babbling brook, whose beauty alone was one of the best birthday gifts I had ever received. My Solar Return time was close to 10:30 p.m. My best laid plans to meditate to the babble of the brook went down the drain as a storm came up. (Even on a quest in Questa, I had enough sense to come out of the rain.)

My friend suggested I relocate to the protection of the porch, where the mist blew gently in my face, the music of the wind chimes played, and the lightning made fireworks on the backs of my closed eyelids. As the clock ticked toward My Moment, I got this overwhelming urge to open my eyes. Before me, in the sky, was a rainbow of moonlight. Later, I learned that lunar rainbows are rare. Nothing will ever convince me I should have been anywhere but in Questa, New Mexico for my birthday that year. It was a good omen of healing from past storms, and it did indeed, presage a wonderful year to come.

Meanwhile, if it’s close to the anniversary of your incarnation, Happy Birthday, and Many Happy (Solar) Returns!

Photo Credit: SUN © Anchesdd Dreamstime.com

Learn your Solar Return time for your meditation this year - Send $5 US via PayPal. (See purchase button in sidebar below Blog Catalog/My Communities.) Joyce will determine your time and send you a PDF chart of your Solar Return moment. No chart interpretation. (Joyce is not doing readings at this time, but referrals are available, just e-mail her for referrals or questions.)

Want to celebrate your birthday, not just once a year on your Solar Return, but 12 times, once a month? Read Do Something Different Day on my other blog Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Humor: Quotes for the Astrological Signs

© 2009 by Joyce Mason

Aries: If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score? - Vince Lombardi

Taurus: A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. – Jane Austen

Gemini: People change and forget to tell each other. - Lillian Hellman

Cancer: All women become like their mothers. That’s their tragedy. No man does. That’s his. – Oscar Wilde

Leo: The ego is not master in its own house. – Sigmund Freud

Virgo: Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely. – P.J. O’Rourke

Libra: Are we not like two volumes of one book? - Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Scorpio: Don't smother each other. No one can grow in the shade. - Leo Buscaglia

Sagittarius: Laughter is an instant vacation. - Anonymous

Capricorn: Accountability, noun. The mother of caution. – Ambrose Bierce

Aquarius: S/he doesn’t just hear a different drummer; s/he hears another orchestra. – My husband, Tim

Pisces: The blues is losing someone you love and not having enough money to immerse yourself in drink. – Henry Rollins


Photo credit: AND I QUOTE ©
Zitramon Dreamstime.com

Like Quotes for the Signs? Read more on The Radical Virgo: Quotes for the Signs #2 and Quotes for the Signs #3.